While Craig Bellamy was getting on the score sheet for team GB against Senegal (the goal wasn’t one of his best a shot into the ground and up into the net following Giggs’ free kick), Liverpool were reflecting on their 2-1defeat to Roma in Boston. This was the second game of our pre season tour of North America and was, in the best traditions of football, one of two halves!
The first was largely forgettable. I think we shaded it certainly in terms of chances anyway. Joe Cole hit the bar Jonjo Shelvey should have scored and Sterling and Eccleston had decent shots saved, otherwise the game amounted to nothing more than an exhibition match.
Much of my time was spent trying to work out the dimensions of FenwayPark and how they’d fitted in a football pitch on to a baseball grid (is “grid” the right word?). With great difficulty and lots of extra turf it seems. FenwayPark has a great history, it seems to be from a bygone era right down to racing green colour of the stands. It could even be listed how else would you explain the numerous pillars which block the spectators view. Nonetheless it looked great, a refreshing change from the numerous “lego” efforts we now seem to have in the UK. Despite that I’m assuming the owners will have more up to date ideas if they decide to follow suit and update Anfield rather than move. ESPN offered little insight as they seemed intent on mentioning Chelsea’s game at every opportunity we were also reminded that the match was sponsored by Taco Bell and told “sometimes you’ve just got to live mas” I’ve no idea either!
The second half was a better affair with both sides seemingly stepping up a notch or two. Both the Roma goals were preventable. Bradley should never have been allowed to produce the grass cutter of shot and Jones should really have got a hand to it rather than allowing it sneak in via the post. Florenzi made it two following up a rebound from Lamela there were at least three defenders that acted slower that the Roma player. Charlie Adam pulled one back with a low long range shot however, Roma could have restored the two goals lead when they hit the post.
Despite his goal Adam, along with Joe Cole, must be wondering about his future as we are being linked with Swansea’s Joe Allen. I’m sure that we had agreed with Swansea not to go for their players but I assuming this is an exception to the rule because of the £15m release clause in Allen’s contract and there’s the rub. Surely we will not be prepared to pay this sort of money for a player of Allen’s inexperience? Sure he has promise and may blossom however, as we’ve seem with Jordan Henderson, it’s a gamble that one cannot reasonably expect to come off straightaway and requires lots of patience? I guess Rogers knows him as he is yet another player he was with at Swansea? Brendon, there are other places however, no criticism yet, look what happened to Nottingham Forest when Brain Clough flooded the team with players from Derby County, his old club!
Perhaps more encouraging, but again not for Adam and Cole, is the news that Alberto Aquilani now, seemingly, wants to give it go with us.
“I never asked to leave but I was always pushed by the club. I am here and I would like to play for Liverpool but it doesn’t depend only on me. I had a very good talk with Brendan where we were able to share our thoughts and it was a very positive chat. I like his footballing philosophy and I like the mentality he has because it matches my own skills.”
Hmmmm interesting, reports have always suggested that Aquilani wanted to go home to Italy however, now that Milan don’t want, him he was “pushed out”?
“I think Liverpool people have to know that I have never said I wanted to leave the city because my family and I were not happy here. This is not true.”
Nonetheless Aquilani has surely shown enough, despite all the stop start delays, that he is still worth a punt? Surely we must try to find out whether the £20m or so we paid for him was money well spent. I use the words “find out” because that is exactly what we will be doing and the player admits this himself…
“I cannot say I have unfinished business in English football because I really never played but, the little I did, I believe I was able to show to Liverpool fans that I have quality and that I could have helped the team.”
Let’s hope we see more. I for one would be willing to see it not work out after a season or two of regular matches rather than be forever wondering what might have been. In short Aquilani could be the best “new non-signing” we make this summer!